Wednesday, April 25, 2012

GATArchives: Herschel's jersey retired

We've all seen the pictures of the four legends; the only Georgia Bulldogs to ever have their jersey retired. Herschel alongside Theron Sapp, Charlie Trippi and Frank Sinkwich.

The day was September 2nd, 1985 and Georgia was hosting Alabama in a rare night game on Labor Day. At halftime an appreciative crowd welcomed #34 back for the prestigious honor of retiring the jersey. This is the only footage I've seen of the actual ceremony, hosted by Georgia legend Dan Magill.

via carlmilton

Too bad Davidson had to step in for that moment in the spotlight. Because that intro by Magill was legendary..."Number 34 the Goalline Stalker, Herschel Walker!" What a great night this must've been to be at Sanford. To have those four gentlemen on the field together has to put 9/2/85 as one of the Stadium's best moments.

Just for kicks, let's take a quick look at each Damn Good Dawg.

Frank Sinkwich - probably the one man that could argue against Walker for being Georgia's greatest player ever. Under Coach Butts, Sinkwich passed for 2,331 yards and rushed for 2,271 yards. His touchdown split was dead even at 30 rushing and 30 passing. All that in just three seasons. It's no wonder he was an All-America and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954.

Charlie Trippi - played alongside Sinkwich during the 1942 championship season and was named the Rose Bowl MVP retroactively in 1953. After fighting in WWII Trippi came back to UGA to play for two more seasons, earning the Maxwell Award in his senior season of 1946. A year later Trippi later became a professional legend as well for his performance in an icy NFL Championship Game in Chicago. For better traction he wore basketball shoes and gained over 200 yards total, 102 coming on punt returns. Trippi was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1959. 

Theron Sapp - the "Drought Breaker" was practically responsible for breaking Tech's 8 game winning streak in 1957 on his own. He recovered a fumble, then took nine handoffs culminating in a 1 yard plunge into the endzone. Georgia won 7-0. Although his career was plagued by injuries (including a broken vertebra his freshman year) he still garnered All-SEC honors in 1957 and 1958.

Herschel Walker - is the only player ever to finish in the top three of voting for the Heisman in every season of his college playing career. Walker gained over 5,000 yards rushing in just three seasons. While his freshman highlights were more dramatic, it's always been his sophomore season that impressed me the most. Herschel carried the ball a phenomenal 385 times that season, even as every team was keying on him. And he still gained nearly 1,900 yards and had 18 touchdowns.

1 comment:

Bernie said...

I was at this game as a sophomore at UGA and had completely forgotten about this ceremony because of the fantastic albeit disappointing finish. Thank you for the reminder of this great Bulldog moment!